An early-season upset was not in the cards for the Waupaca boys’ basketball team.
The Comets hosted Little Chute, the favorite to repeat as Eastern Valley Conference champion, Nov. 30, but came out on the short end of a 52-28 score.
Waupaca also fell to Appleton Xavier 62-59 Nov. 27.
Little Chute 52, Waupaca 28
WAUPACA – The Mustangs held Waupaca to eight or fewer points in three of the four quarters and improved to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.
Little Chute struggled to score early in the game, but took a 9-3 lead into the second quarter. The Mustangs outscored Waupaca 14-8 in the second quarter, 18-13 in the third and 11-4 in the fourth.
Coach Ron Weber found a silver lining in a 24-point loss to one of the state’s top teams.
“Fifty-two points, I like that defense,” he said. “We’ve got to figure things out offensively. One, they can make you look awfully bad. That man-to-man (defense) is as tough as you’re going to find. Two, we didn’t play well. Nobody shot the ball well. I don’t know if it was a big game and the guys wanted to do too much at times. There was just no flow to our offense. I’m encouraged by the determination the kids showed and the defense they played, Now, we have to get better offensively.”
Brando Vasquez led Waupaca with nine points, while Little Chute’s Turner Botz led all scorers with 21.
Xavier 62, Waupaca 59
APPLETON – Waupaca kept pace with the Hawks, but came up three points short.
Xavier outscored the Comets 14-13 in the first quarter, but the teams headed to the locker room at halftime tied at 27-27. The Hawks erased a 27-19 deficit with an 8-0 run at the end of the half.
“They got back into it,” Weber said. “It was anybody’s ballgame.”
Waupaca trailed by as many as seven points in the third quarter, but cut the deficit to 43-40 heading into the final period. James Camann tied the game at 57-57 with a three-pointer with under two minutes to go, but Xavier’s Mike Sawasky gave his team a three-point lead with 30 seconds remaining. Waupaca had a chance to tie with 10 seconds to go, but Camann’s attempt was off the mark.
“I told the guys, ‘I wish I was you tonight,'” Weber said. “What a fun basketball game. Unfortunately, we came up three points short again.”
Nate Jenson led the Comets with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Comets will head to Appleton for an EVC matchup with Fox Valley Lutheran tonight (Thursday, Dec. 6) before hosting Ripon at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, for a rescheduled game.